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Letters to the Editor, Week of May 25, 2022

Colonialism, hallucinogenics, local news, and racial injustice


I thought we were done with colonialism.

We think of our country’s founding as colonialism by the English, which we fought to be rid of. But colonialism is not just our beginning history. It’s a history, everywhere, of subjugation, and acquisition for profit and control.

In our history, Indigenous land became real estate for profit, homesteading and resale, enriching the owners. Had our forefathers stayed on their plantations to pick worms off their tobacco, our independence might not have happened. By “colonizing” the land and using “free” labor, this country has become rich, comfortable, strong and renowned. The for-profit incentive or free enterprise that businesses enjoy makes stocks rise, but also can also contribute to inflation. 

While gasoline prices skyrocket, the petroleum industry has shown huge gains (70% or better) because they can charge what consumers allow. Our medical costs are the highest in the world because the market allows it. Advertisers on TV sell ads for audience size, not content, so millions see what might be considered trash, misinformation or propaganda. We are suffering control over our bodies, minds, safety and even social media for somebody’s profit.

Follow the money. Who benefits by social, party, Wall Street, pharmaceutical and church manipulation? Who benefits when gun production is up 3 times in 29 years?

Donna Starr



Re: Fentanyl fuels overdose deaths; drug surpassed other opioids in 2017, CDN, April 27, 2022.

It’s past time for Washington state to consider what the city of Seattle has already done. And that’s to decriminalize psilocybin. Oregon has also decriminalized possession of small amounts of hallucinogenics. In a few smaller studies, psilocybin has shown substantial benefits in treating drug-related addictions which also include cigarette smoking. These studies have also shown amazing results in treating depression when administered in microdoses.

Opioid addiction and mental health diagnoses are skyrocketing as we face a daily onslaught of news about the COVID-19 virus, the war in Ukraine, as well as our polarized political system. And let’s face it, the treatments we use today to combat these disorders have minimal value. And though we have many drugs that deal with depression, in many cases the side effects can be just as disrupting to life as the disease itself.

It’s time for a new approach. Psilocybin, ketamine and ecstasy in small microdoses have proven amazingly effective in the treatment of both drug addiction and depressive mental health disorders. And none of these drugs are considered physically addictive. At the very least, these drugs need further research to determine just how effective they can be.

Earlier this year, Washington state failed to pass an effort to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic treatment and study. 

Which now leaves it up to us, the voters. Washington state activists have filed a proposed initiative that would remove criminal penalties for simple drug possession and direct $150 million annually to expand substance use disorder treatment, with a focus on outreach and long-term recovery support. The Substance Use Disorder Act will need 324,516 valid signatures by July 8 to appear on the November ballot.

As of right now, these psychoactive drugs remain a schedule C-class drug by federal classification. If we can’t pass this initiative we may never know just how effective these new treatments may be for addiction and mental health disorders.

Bill Walker

Maple Falls


Re: “Black victims of the Buffalo shooting were killed by white supremacy,” Eugene Robinson (CDN print edition, May 18).

Racist sentiment is typically handed down from generation to generation, regardless of color or creed. If it’s deliberate, it amounts to a form of child abuse: to rear one’s impressionably very young children in an environment of overt bigotry — especially against other races and/or sub-racial groups (i.e. ethnicities).  

Not only does it fail to prepare children for the practical reality of an increasingly racially/ethnically diverse and populous society and workplace, it also makes it so much less likely those children will be emotionally content or (preferably) harmonious with their multicultural/racial surroundings. 

Children reared into their adolescence and, eventually, young adulthood this way can often be angry yet not fully realize at precisely what. Then they may feel left with little choice but to move to another part of the land, where their race or ethnicity predominates, preferably overwhelmingly so.  

If not for themselves, parents then should do their young children a big favor and NOT pass on to their very impressionable offspring racially/ethnically bigoted feelings and perceptions (nor implicit stereotypes and “humor,” for that matter). Ironically, such rearing can make life much harder for one’s own children. 

Meantime, real danger lies in the extreme voices increasingly insisting that a “race war” is unavoidably imminent — which, if anything, sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy or outcome. And human beings thus more easily perceived and treated as though they’re disposable and, by extension, their suffering is somehow less worthy of external concern, even in democratic and relatively civilized nations. 

Frank Sterle Jr.  

White Rock, British Columbia 



I, for one, am thrilled that CDN came into being. It is so refreshing to have a real newspaper in Bellingham that covers issues of local (Whatcom/Skagit counties and beyond) importance. I know you will take your hits (I do get tired of pompous know-it-alls) but I know how to “turn the page.”

I just want your entire staff to know that I think you ALL are doing a great job and that I appreciate all of you.

Thank you.

Susanne S. Smith


Send Letters to the Editor to Rules: Maximum 300 words, have a point and make it clearly, no personal attacks. Include your full name, address and telephone number(s) for verification; only your name and city of residence will be published. Letters may be edited for length, grammar and clarity.

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